There’s an interesting article up at Salon right now. The gist is that boomers and Gen-Xers love to think they understand the Millennial generation. However, there are a few things the two previous generations may have wrong:
“…if there is one claim about the Millennial generation that is truly absurd, it is the notion that they are entitled, spoiled and pampered. Some baby boomers and Gen-X members (especially boomers) insist that Millennials don’t want to pay their dues and expect everything handed to them on a silver platter, but Millennials on the whole are the polar opposite of entitled or spoiled.
Millennials—those born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s/early 2000s—in the United States inherited a country that is broken in many respects. From the worst economy in 80 years to a post-9/11 surveillance state to a dysfunctional healthcare system, Millennials have been given a raw deal. And fighting to get the country back on track will be an enormous task for them.
I’m pretty much dead center of Gen-X by age, although when I took the recent “How Millennial Are You?” quiz at Pew Research Center, I came out 74% Millennial – strange given the fact that I don’t have a tattoo or any body piercing (yes, that’s on the quiz).
I do think that our inability to understand one another across age ranges can be a threat to community, and can cause relationship problems, especially within the family system. I am still working hard to try to stay pliable, growing, progressing as a person, and I think this, in part, involves an attempt to develop a better understanding of subsequent generations; not in order to shape them, change them, manipulate them, market to them, or save them, but to love them well.
My kids are on the tail end of the Millennial generation. I have really come to love this cohort. I do think it’s important that we learn to tell the truth about the world we are handing to them. They do face a lot of challenges as a generation, some that we may not even fully grasp as of yet.
Here’s a quick list of the 10 Reasons. What do you think of them? The article itself contains much more detail under each of the ten – I recommend reading it. I’m trying to reserve judgment right now and just listen and learn.
- A dying middle class
- The financial crash of September 2008
- Crushing student loan debt
- The broken healthcare system
- The post 9/11 surveillance state
- Endless war
- Painfully low interest rates
- Bailouts and the federal deficit
- The George W. Bush administration
- Unlikely home ownership